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Old 11-26-2020, 09:50 AM   #1
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New to RVing

Awaiting our Rockwood 2205s in a couple of months. As a child, I camped with my parents in a small camper...lots of fond memories. Now, my wife and I want to begin camping as our kids will soon be off to college. I have never pulled a camper or have any experience trailering, so I’m a bit nervous. I’ve been doing a lot of research and know to get a WDH with sway control. We decided on the smaller trailer to begin with and will be 1000-1500 lbs less than than max allowable weight when fully loaded...but I’m still nervous.
Looks like there a lots of differing opinions on items such as sewer hoses, surge protectors, etc. We really want to have an enjoyable experience and don’t want to make this a money pit. I don’t mind spending more on quality products...just don’t want to waste money.
I’ve learned a lot on this forum and appreciate everyone’s insight...thanks
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:00 AM   #2
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Congratulations and Welcome from New Jersey, What will you be towing it with? Most will suggest driveway camping so you can see what you really need.
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Old 11-26-2020, 10:12 AM   #3
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The TV is a 2015 Chevy Colorado 4x4 z71 with trailering package. The specs read that it has 7000lbs tow capacity with overall max of 12,000. Based upon the listed specs of the 2205s, its listed at 5004lbs Dry. I figure with batteries and propane tanks and other cargo will place it close to 6000lbs. The other cargo will go in the truck bed and according to my estimates, including passengers, I should be around 10,600, but giving myself some wiggle room.
We’re trying to be minimalist and looking carefully at the weight of items.

I agree, our first several campsites will need to padded and wide. I plan to practice backing and turning at the dealership as they have room.

Any other feedback is appreciated.
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Old 11-26-2020, 11:16 AM   #4
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We Are Also New to RV-ing and Can Share What We've Learned....

We just took delivery of a Rockwood Mini Lite 2509S, our first TT also, and are in the middle of getting ready to use it, so we were where you are now just two weeks ago. I can share lots of info on our process and progress.

You have made the right move joining this forum. Lots of very experienced helpful people.

My other suggestion is to watch You Tube videos on the topic of "RV Equipment Needed", etc.. There are many who will go item-by-item, show it in use, and explain all the considerations that will help you choose what to get. Extremely helpful to us.

Driveway camping is a GREAT suggestion. I just woke up from my second night of driveway camping. It is so nice to realize you've forgotten something, and then just walk into the house and get it.

You’ll discover a host of other things as well. I tried taking a shower my first night and, like most, found the factory shower head to be not very good. So, like many, I replaced it with the Oxygenics shower head, which is much better. Also, one of the highly-recommended accessories is a water pressure limiter. It’s just a simple fitting that attaches to the supply hose. It limits pressure and prevents damage to your plumbing system. We had it set to 40 PSI, which is just… not… quite… enough for the shower. 50 PSI works much better and I think is still perfectly safe for your TT.

Another thing we tested last night is using a small electric space heater to see how well we can heat using the campground’s electricity instead of our propane. Again, worked great. It was only 42 degrees last night, but the heater barely ran.

Other learnings were more involved: We bought the 2509S because we wanted to have two adult sleeping areas without having to convert the dinette into a bed. On my first night, I was testing sleeping in the bunk section (which is about the size of a twin bed), but the vertical space was so small that after a little while I was getting mild claustrophobia and had to leave to go back into the house. Good thing to learn before you hit the road. So, as a few others have done, yesterday, I removed the top bunk, which was fairly major surgery. (Had to use a prybar for the plywood and a DeWalt oscillating cutter to cut through the aluminum framing of the bunk bed.) That converted the bunkhouse into a nice, open room and I slept very comfortably last night.

A few more random thoughts:

I would highly recommend getting a “weight-distributing hitch with sway control”. Have your RV dealer install one. They are amazing. It shifts some of the tongue weight off of the back axle of your TV so that the vehicle doesn’t sag, and makes handling much safer. On my way home from the RV dealer, I was on a two-lane 55 MPH highway and had semi trucks going the other way at 60-65 MPH. Pretty much a worst-case scenario for towing. When they blew by, my trailer didn’t even twitch. And my tow vehicle is just a half-ton Toyota Tundra.

Also, when you take delivery, plan to take a few hours at the dealer so that you can TEST EVERYTHING. Go from stem to stern and make sure everything works. It will be much easier to catch things at that point, and the dealer will be much more motivated to fix things. But I am very pleased with the quality of our Mini-Lite. It had nothing wrong that I can tell. My only issue is that the dealer tried to substitute cheaper “dual purpose” batteries for the “deep cycle” ones I was supposed to get. From 20 years of boating, I know the difference. You should insist on deep cycle. Even though the dual purpose battery may have a picture of a boat and RV on it, they are at best a compromise. The DP batteries are intended, in a power boat or motorized RV, to both start the engine, and serve as a power supply for your lights, water pump, etc. They serve as a mediocre power supply have no place in an un-motorized travel trailer.

Regarding buying equipment, I got most everything from Amazon, but always do a quick check on Wal-Mart.com. They were a good deal cheaper on some random things.

After you get your TT, see if you can find a local truck scale to confirm the weight of your rig. As others have noted, the TT manufacturers like to lowball weights. The cost is only about $15, and some (like we have nearby) will let you use it for free.

I’ll stop for now, but happy to answer any other questions. I’ll keep sharing things as we discover them.
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Old 11-26-2020, 07:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback. Which WDH did you get get?
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Old 11-26-2020, 08:54 PM   #6
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We have an Equalizer WDH and it works well with our 2205, easy to use and I would recommend. Eazlift, pro-series, and Blue ox are commonly mentioned in forums. Folks seem to like whatever they are using.
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Old 11-26-2020, 09:58 PM   #7
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Ours is an E2:

https://www.fastwaytrailer.com/e2-hitch.

@flyflotrtim is right, I think most are similar, just make sure it has sufficient capacity and is set up correctly.
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Old 11-27-2020, 10:41 AM   #8
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Welcome from Wisconsin. As far as cost of accessories goes you get what you pay for. Don't skimp on things like a water pressure regulator and sewer hose. You'll probably get a starter kit with your Mini Lite but the sewer hose will be a very low cost piece of junk. We've been using a Rhino for years and it works very well. Link:https://www.amazon.com/Camco-39742-R...kle_mcd_asin_0

A surge protector is just that, a surge protector. Look into getting an EMS system which gives you alot more protection for not that much more $.
Progressive is a well regarded company https://www.progressiveindustries.net/. You might look into Hughes also which is gaining popularity. I went with the Progressive hard wired 30A unit because I like the display panel that gives me information without going outside.

And don't get fooled by the high priced RV toilet paper hype, any septic safe TP will work.
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:27 AM   #9
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Following up on Wiscampsin's comments: We did spring for a Hughes suppressor:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Three key features:
1) Bluetooth connection to your phone which shows voltage level, amps being drawn, and power consumed (so you don't have to go outside to look at it). It's useful to turn things on and off and see how much power they draw (including your 12V converter), especially when boondocking and operating with a generator.
2) Replaceable surge module. As you probably know, power surges "use up" the protective capacity of a suppressor, and then the whole thing needs to be replaced at some point. With this model, there is a lower-cost module that you can replace to restore the suppression capability without having to replace the whole unit
3) A metal fitting through which you can pass a lock to better secure the device from theft. I plan to lock it to a hole in my trailer frame.


Also agree that the Camco "starter kit" the RV dealer supplied is junk. For example, the water pressure regulator (very important to have) included was supposed to be "factory set" at 40-50 PSI, but it permitted more like 25 PSI and my shower didn't work properly. Camco makes good stuff, just not for this starter kit.

The entire kit retails for $33.42 at Home Depot, so that tells you about the quality of the items:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Camco-St...033dacaa589188
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Old 11-27-2020, 11:53 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Wiscampsin View Post
Welcome from Wisconsin. As far as cost of accessories goes you get what you pay for. Don't skimp on things like a water pressure regulator and sewer hose. You'll probably get a starter kit with your Mini Lite but the sewer hose will be a very low cost piece of junk. We've been using a Rhino for years and it works very well. Link:https://www.amazon.com/Camco-39742-R...kle_mcd_asin_0

A surge protector is just that, a surge protector. Look into getting an EMS system which gives you alot more protection for not that much more $.
Progressive is a well regarded company https://www.progressiveindustries.net/. You might look into Hughes also which is gaining popularity. I went with the Progressive hard wired 30A unit because I like the display panel that gives me information without going outside.

And don't get fooled by the high priced RV toilet paper hype, any septic safe TP will work.
Thank you. Researched your comment about TP and sure enough, there are studies that show septic safe TP dissolves equally well to RV rated TP and that likely it’s the outdated sensors that tend to give false readings
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Old 11-27-2020, 01:17 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tom 2424 View Post
Ours is an E2:

https://www.fastwaytrailer.com/e2-hitch.

@flyflotrtim is right, I think most are similar, just make sure it has sufficient capacity and is set up correctly.
To expand on what Tom2424 mentioned. Regardless of the hitch you finally settle on, make sure you understand how to set it up and/or adjust it. Same with brake controller if not built into tow vehicle. We bought our first TT about 4 years ago and bought the hitch from the dealer at the same time (E2, which I really like) and the dealer set the hitch up. The dealer setup was fine for the empty trailer, but once the trailer was loaded, it didn't quite feel right. I've adjusted mine 2x since then, and once I got the WDH dialed in, the difference in towing is night and day.
Have fun.
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Old 11-30-2020, 12:54 PM   #12
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Welcome Scott-H.
The experience you guys are getting ready to enjoy will be overwhelming.
Kids off to school, empty nesters and a camper.
Wow, get ready for a fun ride.
If you would like me to share my “Camper List”, just let me know.
Good luck and don’t be shy in reaching out.
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Old 11-30-2020, 02:34 PM   #13
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Welcome Scott-H.
The experience you guys are getting ready to enjoy will be overwhelming.
Kids off to school, empty nesters and a camper.
Wow, get ready for a fun ride.
If you would like me to share my “Camper List”, just let me know.
Good luck and don’t be shy in reaching out.
The list would be awesome. Thank you.
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Old 12-01-2020, 09:22 AM   #14
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What is the cargo capacity of your Colorado?
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Old 12-01-2020, 10:28 AM   #15
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It’s rated at 6,000 total and the truck weight is 4500, so 1500 for cargo. Currently, with passengers, dogs, hitch and misc stuff, it weighs 5200 (went to a scale on Friday). I’ve estimated what will go on the TT and it is totaling 5400 with a max of 6690, so i have more capacity there. I’m trying to keep the combined weight below 11,000 (max is 12000), so I have 400 lbs available to my standard but 1400 according to the colorado specs
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Old 12-01-2020, 02:05 PM   #16
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Your tongue weight loaded will be close to 750lbs 13% of loaded trailer weight 6,000 lbs +?. Check the load rating on your rear axle and tires. Take your drive axle weight from your scale ticket and add 750lbs to see where you're at.
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Old 12-05-2020, 11:04 AM   #17
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Good news is that you are asking a lot of questions and investigating before you get on the road. That said, you will hear lots of good facts on this site as well as individuals personal opinions as to what works and what doesn't. IMHO, I wouldn't get too worked up over things like surge protectors. The serious safety stuff should be the first consideration.
My take on what I have read is that you are pretty close to maxed out on towing capacity with a 6 cyl mid sized truck (I am assuming you have the 3.6L that tops at 270 ft lbs of torque). Again, my opinion, but the journey should just as enjoyable as the camping when you arrive. Don't know where you plan to travel but taking the rig you describe up and down 6% grades in a crosswind will likely not be pleasant. That 21 gallon gas tank will drain quickly. Lot's of people will tell you that you are fine...weights are below factory max limits....go for it. I'm not one of them. I always treated published limits as guides and a means to compare different equipment and tried to stay significantly below said limits. Trusting them to be "gospel" is risky. You may be disappointed when you get off a level road or above 45 MPH.
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Old 12-05-2020, 01:06 PM   #18
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Driving, cornering and backing are acquired skills so allowing yourself time to learn these is helpful.
My local big box store manager was happy to let me use the large loading area behind the store to practice.
The bright orange level links you’ll need at the campsite work well as markers in your practice area - no biggie if you run them over.
I used a local freeway (not interstate) to practice merging and exiting; get the feel of driving back and forth between two gentle on/off ramps. There are times when I was the only one on the road.
Learning something new feels good if you don’t beat yourself up for the little mistakes you make along the way and only you know what you are ready to try next.
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Old 12-05-2020, 02:23 PM   #19
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Good news is that you are asking a lot of questions and investigating before you get on the road. That said, you will hear lots of good facts on this site as well as individuals personal opinions as to what works and what doesn't. IMHO, I wouldn't get too worked up over things like surge protectors. The serious safety stuff should be the first consideration.
My take on what I have read is that you are pretty close to maxed out on towing capacity with a 6 cyl mid sized truck (I am assuming you have the 3.6L that tops at 270 ft lbs of torque). Again, my opinion, but the journey should just as enjoyable as the camping when you arrive. Don't know where you plan to travel but taking the rig you describe up and down 6% grades in a crosswind will likely not be pleasant. That 21 gallon gas tank will drain quickly. Lot's of people will tell you that you are fine...weights are below factory max limits....go for it. I'm not one of them. I always treated published limits as guides and a means to compare different equipment and tried to stay significantly below said limits. Trusting them to be "gospel" is risky. You may be disappointed when you get off a level road or above 45 MPH.
Thanks. I confirmed with the dealer the exact weight of the unit that we plan to purchase with full propane tanks and battery, along the same options. I’ve made an extensive list of cargo items, based upon input from a few folks on this forum and what my wife and I think we will take (we’re minimalist). Currently, we’re 1000lbs below the GVW for the TT (85%), 1300lbs below max tow capacity (80%), and 1,400 lbs below the combined capacity of the TT and TV (88%). The est tongue wt is 200 below max (80%). I removed some unnecessary items from the TV and we’re going to re-weigh it today and include the dogs and other items we plan to bring in the TV, so I think I will be less than my current estimate (unless I gained weight).
I agree that i do not want to be at max capacity...thoughts on what I listed above? Is this too close to max?
The first couple of years, we plan to stay within 400 mile range and will replace my TV
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Old 12-05-2020, 03:33 PM   #20
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Thanks. I confirmed with the dealer the exact weight of the unit that we plan to purchase with full propane tanks and battery, along the same options. I’ve made an extensive list of cargo items, based upon input from a few folks on this forum and what my wife and I think we will take (we’re minimalist). Currently, we’re 1000lbs below the GVW for the TT (85%), 1300lbs below max tow capacity (80%), and 1,400 lbs below the combined capacity of the TT and TV (88%). The est tongue wt is 200 below max (80%). I removed some unnecessary items from the TV and we’re going to re-weigh it today and include the dogs and other items we plan to bring in the TV, so I think I will be less than my current estimate (unless I gained weight).
I agree that i do not want to be at max capacity...thoughts on what I listed above? Is this too close to max?
The first couple of years, we plan to stay within 400 mile range and will replace my TV
I run at 1000lbs under max according to cat scales it handles fine. Stopping distance is improved after burnishing in the trailer brakes (articles on this procedure are available through multiple sources from website searching).
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